Nervous lurcher(5 Posts)
We have a lurcher who we adopted at 15 months, two months ago. He is generally very friendly to everyone we meet. I am starting to work on separation anxiety but my more immediate problem is his reaction yesterday to my brother in law visiting.
He barked and growled (whilst wagging his tail he was showing fear not aggression). My brother in law came for an hour or so, went out with my husband and then came back to exactly the same reaction.
We mostly ignored or reassured him and he only did if when bil got too close but the main problem is that bil and his wife are staying the whole of next weekend to look after the kids and dog while we go away for our anniversary.
That will he the next time we all see him as he doesn't live locally.
How can we ensure that he does not have the fearful response? He has shown it a little to other visitors but usually calmed down quickly enough I think.
I'll try and meet them out on a walk as he doesn't show that behaviour outside usually before coming home, does anyone else have any tips please?
Tail-wagging indicates arousal, not just 'happiness'. Where did you adopt the dog from? Do you have any history for the dog? A week's time with no further contact won't be long enough, I doubt, for you to 'work' on the dog's problem with your bil and might upset the dynamic of the household - which is probably still settling anyway - enough to be problematic.
Could the go back to the centre he was adopted from for the weekend you're away? Or be looked after elsewhere?
He was in a rescue kennels there's no way he's going back there! He could go to the dogsitter, he's been before, she has lots of dogs but we were assuming (and still suspect) that he'd be happier at home. It's a dilemma really we want him to be happy and comfortable and hadn't anticipated this reaction.
I'd strongly advise that he not be left with your bil as you don't have the time or occasion to learn why your dog is fearful of your bil or to work on your bil befriending him. You won't be there for the dog's reassurance and he might behave differently without you there. Your bil will be on edge because the dog keeps growling/barking at him, the dog will pick up on that and that will just worsen things. It's not a good dynamic and you need to think of safety.
He may well be happier with the dogsitter he knows than with someone he doesn't and of whom you know he is afraid. As you've only had him a couple of months you don't really know how he will react when you're not there; maybe he can get to know your bil ready for your next anniversary.
I really don't think it's fair on either your BIL or your dog to go ahead with this plan. The dog sitter would be a much better option for him, where he can be with familiar faces and relax.
Getting him accustomed to BIL is doable but will be a gradual process, especially as he's still very new to your home.
it may be worth having a chat with the rescue anyway - many sighthound rescues have very informal arrangements between adopters for "sleepovers" when owners need to go away (we have used similar arrangements ourselves with greyhound friends) and also many sighthound rescues actually offer boarding services for adopted dogs in case of holidays etc. Again, this can be a useful source of funds for the rescue and very often, the staff/volunteers love to see how former residents are getting on. You will also get staff/volunteers who are tuned in to the particular needs of your pointy.
Finally, the rescue can also recommend specialist dog sitters - for instance I know a couple of people in our area who are very widely used by sighthound owners and recommended on the rescue grapevine - I'd feel far happier leaving a dog with someone like that. If your rescue has a FB group, it's worth joining for this sort of info, or one of the many that are dedicated to rescue lurchers/greyhounds.
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